Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Reviews and Competition

Here a a few things MiniMck and I have had the chance to review and play with over the past few weeks. Competition details are at the bottom of the post.


When Holly at Mattel asked me if I was interested in letting MiniMck lose on a box of Fisher Price's new Trio building system, I jumped at the chance.

Trio is a construction toy with bricks, sticks and panels, with which you can make animals vehicles and generally whatever you can imagine. It is aimed at years 3 to 5. My own childhood involved a lot of Lego, imaginative vehicles and spaceships which after being intricately built would eventually end up involved in a fatal crash, from the top to the bottom of the stairs.

MiniMck already has his MegaBlocks, so I was hoping the new Trio construction kit would engage him. I wasn't disappointed.

As soon as I opened the Crazy Creatures box he was eagerly shouting 'toys, toys' - although he hasn't mastered 'Ts' yet so actually it was 'doys, doys'. I then started to play with demonstrate how to use the blocks (think large Lego blocks with holes in the middle that sticks or flat bits can go into). Mini Mck tried to construct something, and admittedly he is a over a year away from the target age for Trio, but he didn't quite have the strength to join the blocks together. So he preceded to tell me what should go where. We soon had our creation.

It was time for the ultimate construction kit test. How would the creature fare in a DeathStar like explosion at the bottom of the stairs, would it end up shattered in pieces like my childhood brittle Lego creations?

Surprisingly, no. Our wheel based Crazy Creature came through the ordeal loosing only an eye and a fin. The other many legged spindly creature didn't fair as well, loosing several legs. However, what this did show was that unlike his MegaBlocks and Duplo, which seems to fall apart when you look at them, Trio is sturdy; this is a big bonus. When you build something with Trio it stays built. Our wheel based creature, since named buggy for both the eyes and wide wheel base, has managed to stay complete for a couple of weeks and has even been allowed to join the esteemed pantheon of vehicles (a 70's Tonka digger, Lego Ambulance and wooden bus) that MiniMck lines up outside his bedroom.

The Crazy Creature sets are priced around £10, there is an aeroplane at around £6 and larger sets as well. Please note that the Crazy Creature set does not come with a set of wheels. Ours were kindly included as an extra by Holly from Mattel, when I mentioned that MiniMck has a current fascination for anything vehicular.

365 Everyday Games and Pastimes

365 Everyday games and pastimes, by Martin and Simon Toseland includes as it says, something fun for everyone.

I could also see it coming in handy over Christmas. For that time when everyone is slouched on the sofa in the post lunch full-belly-boozy-slump or simply to gather everyone together and have some wholesome family fun together.

The main impetus for the book is the author's grandmother, whose shop turned into a local pub, where people would gather to drink and play games. The authors have included games that are practical, easy to learn and require a minimum of equipment.

The book is split up into sections such as, Children's Party Games, Games on the Go, Rainy Day Games, Word Games and Christmas and New Year Games and Pastimes. It includes many games that we (I'm assuming) all know, Charades, Consequences, Picture Consequences (the one where you each draw the section of someone/thing), Battleships, I-Spy, etc.

However, there are five versions of charades and several other 'acting/miming' games. For adults there are drinking games, lists of forfeits, if you are stuck for any. The Victorian Body Challenges seem like they could be quite entertaining, especially if Uncle Bob or Aunt Fanny tried to do them after a few jars of ale or several snowballs.

As a teacher, I have also found a use for several of the games, some of the number based games are great as warm-ups for maths lessons and this years end of term Christmas party will include a few more interesting games than the usual musical statues and pass the parcel.

So for the games you have long forgotten or ones you never knew this is a great book to dip into and reminisce or find something for a particular occasion.

A fantastic site for gifts and gadgets to suit all ages, from stocking fillers for a few quid to £1500 150-in-1 arcade machines.

MiniMck and I have been playing around with one of their a light changing glow balls and some spa lights. He was not to bothered with the spa lights, which I didn't mind as I could then use them for a relaxing bath after he had gone to bed. However he loves playing with the light changing glow ball.

I put it in his bath, add some Matey and then let the bubbles build up around it. The foam then has an ethereal glow. With the main lights turned off, it is quite effective and he has fun trying to find the ball in all the foam. It is also a useful way to entice him into the bath, without tears, when he is being in one of his obstinate moods.

Paramount gifts is excellent for general Christmas Present Ideas or specifically if you are looking for Christmas Presents for Kids

MiniMck playing with his glowing ball (apologies for blurry photos, but the light conditions were obviously not great and using a flash kinda ruined the effect)


Square Peg publishers of 365 Everyday Games and Pastimes have offered 3 books for me to give away. I also have a spare box of the Trio Crazy Creature Set to give away as well.

All you have to do to enter the competition is leave a comment on this post stating what your favourite Christmas Family or Party game is, or what your favourite childhood toy was.

The draw will be made using a randomizer at

To enter, leave a comment on this blog.
The competition is open to residents of the UK only
Make sure your contact details are available.
The winner will be drawn at random from all entries after the closing date.
The competition closes at 23:59 on Friday 10/12/2010
No cash alternative offered.
The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode.
If a prizewinner does not provide a full UK postal address within a week of being contacted, the prize will be re-drawn and a new winner will be contacted.

Monday, November 22, 2010

12 weeks and counting

This weeks gallery prompt is Black and White. There are always so many fantastic photos and posts in the gallery so pop over to Sticky Fingers to view some more.

I'm sure MrsMck and I are not the only people who give nicknames to their yet to be born child, so say hello to Sticky Pea. The brother, or sister, of MiniMck, who is due to come into the world at the end of next May.

MiniMck's alias was Sticky Bean. He was given this name by his mum as soon as she had got a second positive test. Sticky Bean had been two years and three miscarriages in the making, so his name was not down to cuteness, but through MrsMck's belief that this time he was going to stick around. She was determined to have a positive attitude. And stick around he obviously did.

However, things were not always so black and white.

We learnt about MrsMck's second misscarriage during a scan. It had never crossed my mind that a scan could be a negative event, films and TV drams always show the positive side, the elation of parents. So we were not prepared for the shock and emptiness when the scan showed something, but something not moving. A small blimp, with no signature heartbeat. All our hopes were crushed. It seemed somehow worse, because we had seen the small beginnings of life, in black and white.

Since that day, I have accompanied MrsMck for four other scans, and we feel nervous every time. That instant grief will never go, but time, talking and having MiniMck have helped heal the wounds. Misscarriage is awful, but so much more common than people realise, sadly we are not a nation that shares or deals well with vulnerability, grief, tears or death.

Back in August, Louise Carpenter wrote an informative and insightful article on miscarriage, in the Observer, Miscarriage: a mother's last taboo. I suggest anyone with a passing interest should read it.

So we await the arrival of Sticky Pea, with a positive mind. MrsMck seems to finally be over her nausea, although as she pointed out, no amount of positive thinking could overcome feeling that ill!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Back in the day, I used to believe society and our environment were the biggest influence on character, that gender was down to nurture, not nature. I already started thinking I might be wrong when I became a teacher, Key Stage One girls were often more capable at literacy and communication. Then I read about the difference between fine and gross motors skills in boys and girls at an early age (fine motor skills favour girls- stickering, etc, gross motor skills favour boys- running about kicking a ball like a loon).

Then MiniMck arrived, since then I have been convinced I was wrong.

Without any encouragement MiniMck has become obsessed with vehicles- buses, cars, trains, planes, diggers and boats, but mainly things with wheels. One of his earliest words was 'car' soon to be followed by 'train', actually 'toot-toot', but the meaning was the same. Bus spotting is now the activity de jour from the comfort of his car seat. When one is seen, a load screech of 'BUS!' comes from the back of the car, quickly repeated, getting louder and louder until he is acknowledged, "yes, it's a bus MiniMck, well spotted".

So where did this enthusiasm come from- we did not buy him any toy cars until his wishes and likes became apparent. I'm far removed from a petrol head and cycle to work, so no influence there. I can only assume that because he is a boy, he likes big moving things and when he pointed at them with glee we told him what they were, his enthusiasm influenced us, he was interested in them and so he remembered what they were called.

This all brings me round to his latest activity, lining up his vehicles. We find them lined up on the toilet seat, in his cot in the morning and against the wall outside his bedroom. When I mentioned it to another parent, I was hoping for an 'Oh, how sweet' reply, but instead they talked about sorting being a development stage at his age. Ya boo sucks to development, wonder weeks and all that claptrap- it just think it is darn cute, and is his thing of the week that makes me smile.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Apple in my pie

This weeks gallery prompt is food. Go over to Sticky Fingers for lots of other great photos and posts on this weeks theme.

This blog is about being a dad and parent and todays prompt is about food, so you won't be surprised to see a picture of Mini Mck scoffing away at some food a little further down the page.

Briefly, I thought of using the theme to write about my allotments and show photos of baskets over flowing with various veg and fruit, but that seems too showy, and I've already mentioned my allotmenting in several posts before. I also don't want to sound like Mr organic preacher man. Yes, I do garden organically, but I can also put away a mega bag of monster munch or KFC Zinger Burger as easily as the next man (or woman, probably easier).

Mini Mck can also put away food at a voracious rate. One of my favourite food time games is lining up raisins on his tray and seeing if he can eat them, rapid fire action, quicker than I can put them down. I can only surmise as to why his eating habits are so, though I think it might be to do with Baby Led Weaning (which in simple terms is mostly giving babies what you eat as soon as they are on to solids and avoids any pureeing).

One friend described Mini Mcks eating habits as medieval- face smeared with food, throwing away gnawed bones (re: crusts) and demanding more juice minion. Probably similiar to many other babies.

At one point Mini Mck would have a good try of any food put in front of him. He is now a little more discerning and knows what he likes and doesn't. There is no way you can sneak by any form of mashed or reformed potato, and we have tried many methods. One of the things we are most proud of is his love of fresh fruit, the fresher the better, especially straight from the plant. Mrs Mck only told me today how he cried when they didn't go into the fruit cage as usual.

I love it when he screws up his eyes, scrunches his nose and opens his mouth wide enough to shove in whatever he is eating. I think these photos sum up his wonderful attitude to food.

Cheese sarnies and cruisers
A Dad and Son day trip to Wroxham to see boats on the broads

Duck bread for brunch
A Dad and Son river walk to feed the ducks, every bit of stale bread given to Mini Mck went straight in his mouth.

A healthy start
Our cereals are now kept in tubberware containers, following too many self service breakfasts.

My little pumpkin
Mini Mck's first experience of pumpkin was not at all daunting.

Scone Scoffing
Cramming in a home made mummy scone.
All photos were taken on an iPhone3 and edited using the Mill Colour Photo App

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Beamish Boy 2

This weeks gallery prompt was smiles. Pop over to Sticky Fingers for all the other great photos and posts on this weeks theme.

I am usually quite selective over photos that I use. This week when searching for pictures to use, I realised that most of the more spontaneous smile photos I had were on my phone.

So forgetting all worries about focusing, framing and F-stops, these are photos of Mini Mck smiling, Mrs Mck smiling or simply photos that make me smile.

Before Mini Mck arrived there was laughter and there were smiles- it was what kept us sane. However everyday since, there has always been something that has made us smile and grin, even on our most shattered and darkest days. Thank you my beamish boy

After falling in the pool when retrieving a ball

After buying new shoes

Chuffed because I've climbed onto a chair

Shopping, what fun!

Yoghurt for hair gel

I've ripped a cardboard leaf out of a book and started eating it, how funny!

We can fit our whole hand in our mouths!

Simple bath-time fun!

Making Daddy take me for a drive at 3.00am is so much fun!

Mummy makes me smile

A lot!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Son's Mum

Mini Mck's Mum has had a tough few days. Tonight I told Mrs Mini Mck that he does love her, he does appreciate all the things she does for him. I think she knows it's true, but Mini Mck can't tell her yet, and at the moment she is seeing through a glass darkly.

With no prior experience to draw from, Mini Mck may be exhibiting the normal behaviours of a 17 month old child. He does seem a handful compared to his NCT buddies. I don't like to use such an objective word, but it isn't that he's naughty. He is however a whirlwind of energy, spending a scant few minutes on each new venture before moving on to the next, demanding to be picked up, released from his chair, wanting what he can't have and blah-ing when he doesn't get it. And he wants a lot. This all now comes with a new addition of a whining 'maaaa, maaaa, maaa'-where did that come from? I have a class of 23 nine year olds, and they are not as challenging as our single son, especially when he is on (or should it be off) form.

That's why I take my metaphorical hat off to Mrs Mck, his stay at home mum. Yesterday she packed the day with activites, painting, sandpitting, swinging in the park, singing group, reading, more reading and other pre-toddler delights. She was proud that he didn't watch a single episode Chuggington. An engaged Mini Mck was a happy Mini Mck, but an activity packed day isn't something that anyone could keep up, day after day.

Mrs Mck second guesses herself a lot. She, as with most mums, wonders if the choices she makes are the best for her child. Does he watch too much TV? Should he watch any TV? Is he eating enough? Is he warm enough?...This leads to guilt when she feels she hasn't make the right decisions.

To Mrs Mck and all the Mums out there, please stop feeling guilty. Your child's brain will not rot from watching TV. If they nap for longer than usual, let them, it won't damage sleep habits- so put up those aching feet, enjoy the well earned break and eat that cake with a fresh brew of tea. If a trail of toddler destruction is wrought throughout the house, pause to enjoy the toddler trail that so many couples try for, but sadly will never experience.

To Mini Mck's stay at home mum, I love the fact that when I now come home you are not wound up from the infighting and politics of a well paid, but soul destroying job. Although you may still be wound up from tempestuous toddler tantrums. I love that you are no longer arriving home at half past six in the evening in a drab starched uniform, but instead I get home at a sensible hour and your hair is tussled from rahh-ing around on the floor, or from being yanked during the Battle of the Bulge-ing nappy. Your Mums Uniform has the hand print of yoghurt on the shoulder, gold stickers on your bum, paint on your elbows and sand in your turn ups. You wear it well.

Your son loves you (and so do I).

These pictures sum up for me the wonderfully joyful, caring and loving relationship that Mrs Mck and Mini Mck have already built in such a short time.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

When Daddy Gets Home

He is greeted with a small assortment of random items underneath the cat flap at the foot of the back door.

This is LittleChap's new hobby. It started off innocently, the cats would walk through the kitchen trying to avoid his grabby little mitts ( him ignoring our mantra of 'soft touch, soft touch'). They would eventually escape through their personal door and LittleChap would sit opening and closing the flap, looking to see where they had gone. Now he hoovers up all odd items left around our house, goes toddling over to the 'flap, and pushes them though to the outside.

This eclectic collection of items has included books, clean washing, food (complete and half chewed), bottle tops, saucepan lids... simply anything LittleChap can gets his hands on.

This hobby does indicate our laziness in throwing things away. Yesterday I was greeted by a range of empty shampoo and shower gels that have built up at the bottom of the shower. It made me smile to think of LittleChap pottering between the shower room and the cat flap, intent on his task in hand. He also does this cute straight arm swinging thing every time he posts something- seemingly so proud of his achievement.

Tonight, I came in through the back gate, wheeled my bike into the garden and caught him in the act. A little hand was sticking out holding onto some house keys The pile outside was relatively small. I crouched down, took hold of the keys and pulled them through. The flap then flipped open and LittleChap's face appeared, realising Daddy was the other side a beaming smile came across his face. Followed by the realisation that the posting game had taken a new twist, if someone is the other side of the flap then they can keep posting the same thing back and forth indefinitely, what fun!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Where for art thou

Where for art thou my beamish boy.

I would like to know why, I expect there may be no answers. What has happened to my smiley littlechap I used to know. There seems to have been a sea change in him and his demeanour.

He has always been wilful, night times were, and still are, a daunting randomness of fitful sleep patterns, with us endlessly rocking, soothing and half awake cooing. This was all easy to bare, because come day time, he was a pleasure. Easy to smile, giggling, content to play or flick through books by himself. Not now.

For the last two weeks he has wailed and moaned, and often it seems for little or no reason. I am knackered, mummylimited even more so.

He has had a cold recently, and mostly shaken that off, I can't be certain, because he has been teething molars for the last week and has had the obligatory runny nose that accompanies it. 'Why didn't you mention that before', some might say, 'there's your reason'. But previously, teething has never changed his whole personality.

Paranoia has not helped (something else no one mentions about parenthood, a constantly massive sense of worry and fear about your child). Last week littlechap had two hefty knocks to his head, just the usual toddler slip ups. Although on that day, at bath time, he was doing this weird shaking thing and his bottom lip was all a quiver- it was possibly something to do with being overheated and then me giving him a tepid bath- but my mind did a little freaked out back flip. He's brain damaged!- my quiet inside voice told me (these irrational fears are best not shared with mummylimited, it only fans the flames of her even more paranoid fears).

Mummylimited and I want our beamish boy back.

Littlechap littlechap, where for art thou my littlechap?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Big boys do cry


This week Stickyfingers gallery and Sleepisfortheweak have joined up for the theme of Emotion. Have a look at some of the other fantastic photos and posts on their blogs.

I'll admit it, I'm a big soft jessy. I was meant to be the person who told MummyLimited the gender of LittleDude after he slipped out. I got as far as 'Its...a...(sniff)... B...(sob)...B...(sniff).. It's...' before degenerating into a blubbery teary mess. I think I eventually got the words out, but by then it was obvious to his mum he was a he.

I suppose you would expect a father to cry at the birth of his son, but is there an excuse for crying at the film Big? (the Tom Hanks late 80s classic). If you sit me in front of a saccharine sweet TV program or film, even if I have only been watching it for a few minutes, at some point you can guarantee the water works will start.

It isn't something I often do in public, the dark privacy of a cinema is okay, but I'm a bloke you know, I have to uphold the macho facade. However, as Za Za Gabor said 'Macho isn't Mucho', and there have been times where I have let the tears flow. Often this has happened where I work, at school, such as when a long time colleague moves on or the kids do an assembly that I'm really proud of.

As a primary teacher I am lucky that I get to work with and build good relationships with pupils in my class over a whole year. For several years as a middle school teacher I worked with the oldest year group, aged 11-12. On the final day of term, boys who had given me grief all year and cursed me in a variety of ways, would strongly hug me goodbye with tears in their eyes, showing me that all my effort was actually worth it. For once they could show their true emotions- I would pay them back in kind and show them that, yes, big boys do cry.

My most public expression of emotion and tears was in quite an obvious place, my Granddads funeral. My Granddad was the main male role model in my life, I spent a lot of time with him as a child, he always had time for me, especially when absent parents didn't. Surprisingly I never saw him cry, he was a stoical man, who never had a bad word to say against anyone, never complained and took his small pleasures in life's beauty.

I was the only family member to speak at his funeral. On that morning I knew it would be an ordeal for me to speak. I wanted to be stoical like him, but knew I would default to blubbery wreck. I couldn't read through my words to the end, even on my own. I asked others to read for me, but it was something I had written the night I found out he had died, and they all said I should be the one to read it. I was right, not only did I cry a river, for the life of me I couldn't catch a breath and was a stuttery, spluttery mess.

So I have opened my old journal for the first time since then. The past five years have papered over the Granddad shaped hole that will always be there, maybe I can read and write it now without splashing the page with salt water.

Walks down the wooded pit and along the canal
Squeezing through the hole in the fence the school kids sneaked at lunchtime
The mini grand canyon of sandstone
Watching the locks fill.
And opening and closing the gates once the boats had gone

The smell of turps in the bedroom
Binoculars always on the windowsill

The stool he sat on, the table he eat at
The bookcase he read from, the bureau he worked at
The fireplace he sat in front of
The bird table he flicked bread on
The cupboard he stored in, the easel he leant against
From oil and water colour landscapes to church walls
He carved, crafted, chiselled and painted them all

He once asked me who I admired most.
Who he admired most was Lawrence of Arabia
(from a man who never left the UK)
He remembered where he was when he found out Lawrence was dead.
In a carriage, on a train to Birmingham.
Someone had that morning's newspaper and it was on the front page.
I said the person I admired, most, then, and now, was him.
He casually scorned my answer, as if ridiculous
His humility shining through

Everytime I showed him a new technology,
he would say,'It's a different world now Danny'
He was born of a different time,
but was a man who would grace any time.

The last time I stayed with him he told me to make sure that I do one thing in this life
'What ever you do Danny, you must have children
the day your Mum was born was the best day of my life.'

Thanks Granddad I you were right, it is just a shame you went 4 years to early and LittleDude wasn't 4 years so late.

I was wrong. Big Dan still cries. Splash. Sniff. Splash.

My Granddad and I (the early 90's)

One of his water colours- with granddad and grandson on the beach below

Another water colour- Wightwick Canal where we used to walk (and I played with the lock gates)

One of his oil paintings- This is a morning sunrise in his back garden (including the bird table he built)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

All things bright and beautiful...

...all creatures great and small. the theme for this weeks gallery is creatures. I am sure there will be some great photos and posts, but I don't expect them to make me well up like some did last week.

I enjoy gardening and growing things, I never expected to, neither my parents or grandparents showed any enthusiasm. My Dad's garden was always utilitarian and practical, grass in the middle with a pernial border round the outside, my mum never ventured near one. My grandmothers were home makers and gave me a passion for food. One Granddad made things out of stone and wood , the other was more interested in being a local counciller and Catenian (a kind of Masons for Catholics).

When I first scattered some seeds I didn't realise how much gardening would become a part of my life and that the creatures in my garden and allotment would become either my aides or adversaries.

My Adversaries

Ants. I used to quite like ants. I once even spent an evening on a balcony in Turkey admiring their communication an industriousness- A piece of crisp was too big for the ant that found it, so he went and got some mates, they realised it was too big to get through their front door, so got even more mates who helped break it up into bits that would fit through. That was then. Now I know that they are responsible for setting up little 'farms' all over my gardens and allotments, and I don't like them so much.

You see the... lets call them secretions... of aphids and other little bugs are like a sweet delicacy to ants. So what the clever little ants do is get a few black-fly or scale bugs and put them in a place where they will thrive, such as my broad beans or newly planted contorted willow. The ants then farm the sweet 'secretions', the bugs multiply and my plants or crops wither and die. The above photo is a scale bug ant farm on my contorted willow.

Slugs and snails. An obvious foe. I am sure that anyone who takes gardening even half seriously has come up against these slimy critters. When I first started growing salad I used to go out on snail watch every night. The snails would come out of their lair of decaying leaves under the laurel bush. I would be there armed with a torch and gardening gloves (I'm not so squeamish now). With a quick flick of the wrist they would go flying over the wall into the adjoining ally. Alive to fight another day. This was the phoney war. I have now resorted to chemical warfare. In every other aspect of gardening I am organic, but when it comes to the slimy fellows I now use slug and snail pellets.

I grow enough salad to not be too bothered about the odd snail or two, but I use the pellets when I am growing seedlings. There is nothing worse than spending months germinating, nurturing and overwintering peas or beans only to find a seed tray of stumps in the morning with several snails hanging about rubbing their belly's.

The Pea Weevil.
A relatively new adversary of mine. This is the first year I have had an allotment and whenever I grew beans or peas before I had not come across the wee beasties. It was the beginning of spring when I first noticed weirdly shaped leaves on my peas, I had only transferred them from pots the week before, and was sure they didn't have the strange leaves then.

All the edges were serrated with semi-circular shaped holes. They looked too regular and perfectly cut to be a pest and I thought it was just the way they grew. Then I noticed the broad bean leaves were the same. Wit Google's help, I soon found my foe. It seems there isn't too much to worry about, the plants soon grew on and only the bottom leaves are affected. The only problem is if they lay there larvae in the soil around the plant, they can then eat through the roots and kill it.

All seems okay at the moment, but they are on my radar.

My Aides

Bacteria and Worms

These two creatures make up only a small part of the soil ecosystem, but if it wasn't for bacteria, all my household and allotment waste would amount to sludge at the bottom of a wheely bin.

If I'm lucky, such as in this photo, I get some well rotted horse manure which is riddled with worms. If I didn't have this to spread on my garden and allotment at the beginning of winter, my veg and flowers would never be so good.

Every time I open my compost bin I am greeted by the sight of a mound of wriggling worms. Not that pretty I agree, but just like the 'secretions' of the bugs to the ants, worm 'secretions' are a luxurious delicacy to my plants.

There is something that makes all these little battles worth the effort.

Usually my Littledude creature decides that he won't go anywhere near a roasted carrot, put a finger on a steamed stem of broccoli or munch on a piece of mango. However last weekend I brought home my first pea harvest, we opened up a pod and offered it to him. Low and behold, he popped them into his mouth, one after the other, like sweets. It made me feel all warm inside to know my perseverance had paid off and I knew exactly where his food was coming from and what was in it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A few feathers short of a whole duck

When I was writing my post for the gallery this week, on the theme of motherhood, I remembered an article I had saved about a mother and her woes.

Maybe someone could write it up as an analogy about careless parenting, forward planning or having eyes in the back of your head, but read into them what you will.

You will be pleased to know there was a happy ending

"At Shelton water tower next to the old A5 near Shrewsbury I observed mother duck and six ducklings proceeding across the road.I slowed the car and then stopped to allow safe progress. Mother made for the kerb pursued by youngsters, negotiating the road grid and the kerb to get to safety.

The last three fell through the grid. Mrs duck returns and three flee to safety in the wide verge.

Close inspection showed three ducklings swimming 1m down below the grid.

Thanks to the cyclist and the Morris van driver who also stopped. A wheel brace got up the drain cover.

A long arm scooped out three ducklings while another long arm fended off mother’s attacks."

Liz Simons. Shropshire Star August 1st 2007